|< Prev||Next >|
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Alianza, the National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making our communities a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.
Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. The six protective factors are:
Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors, in every interaction with children and families, is the best thing advocates and other community members can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development.
Everyone’s participation is critical. As the President stated in his Proclamation: “We all have a role to play in preventing child abuse and neglect and in helping young victims recover. From parents and guardians to educators and community leaders, each of us can help carve out safe places for young people to build their confidence and pursue their dreams. I also encourage Americans to be aware of warning signs of child abuse and neglect, including sudden changes in behavior or school performance, untreated physical or medical issues, lack of adult supervision, and constant alertness, as though preparing for something bad to happen.
In support of Child Abuse Prevention efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, its Child Welfare Information Gateway, the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy – Strengthening Families have created a Making Meaningful Connections 2014 Resource Guide. The guide, designed for service providers who work throughout the community to strengthen families, is available on Information Gateway's website: https://childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/resource-guide/
National Statistics on Child Abuse
According to the National Children’s Alliance, in 2012, an estimated 1,640 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States. In the same year:
An estimated 686,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect (unique instances).
51 states reported approximately 3.8 million children received preventative services from Child Protective Services agencies in the United States.
Children younger than one year had the highest rate of victimization of 21.9 per 1,000 children in the national population of the same age.
Of the children who experienced maltreatment or abuse, more than 75% suffered neglect; more than 15% suffered physical abuse; and just under 10% suffered sexual abuse.
Approximately 80% of reported child fatalities as a result of abuse and neglect were caused by one or more of the child victim’s parents.
History of National Child Abuse Prevention Month
In 1983, Congress declared April to be National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Since that time, communities across the country have taken the opportunity to raise awareness of issues surrounding child maltreatment and abuse through proclamations, ceremonies, educational forums, tributes and candlelight vigils. April is a time to look back, to acknowledge the children who have suffered and the losses sustained throughout our communities because of that suffering. But it is also a time to look forward - most of all to a time when children no longer have to live in fear.
Actions Taking Place Around the Country
Children's Advocacy Centers and supportive individuals around the country are conducting innovative efforts in support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Read about some creative efforts and learn how you can get involved at the local level: http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/NationalChildAbusePreventionMonth_2014LocalInitiatives
You can also visit: www.ChildWelfare.gov/Preventing to learn more about how you can prevent child abuse.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that we each should and can play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities. Learn more on the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website. https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/
Encourage your mayor or governor to issue a National Child Abuse Prevention Month proclamation. They can use the 2014 National Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation as a model. https://childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/about/proclamations/
Want to raise awareness about the importance of child abuse prevention? Add a National Child Abuse Prevention widget to your agency's website. https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/widgets/
Have you downloaded the 2014 Resource Guide: Making Meaningful Connections? Available on Child Welfare Information Gateway, the guide supports service providers in their work with parents, caregivers, and their children to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect. Learn more here: https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/resource-guide/
Download the National Child Abuse Prevention Month activity calendars to learn how you can promote child well-being throughout the month of April. The calendar is available in English and Spanish on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website. https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/resource-guide/activity-calendar/
Watch real-life stories from prevention programs across the nation. Visit the National Child Abuse Prevention video gallery, and share with your friends, family, coworkers, and community. https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/video-gallery/